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Arson dog goes to head of the class

Spokane Valley Fire’s arson dog, Mako, made his first classroom appearance this week. He spent an hour in a forensics class at Centennial Middle School on Thursday.

“He was very good in his demonstration,” said assistant fire marshal Bill Clifford. “The kids loved it.”

The visit was something of an experiment. “The biggest thing was to see how he did in the classroom for an hour,” Clifford said. “He did well. He might have slimed a few of them with his tongue.”

Mako did so well that he is now scheduled to make an appearance at the Sunrise Elementary science fair Thursday from 6-8 p.m.

There were a few interesting calls among the 202 the Fire Department responded to from Jan. 13-19. A stovetop fire spread to a microwave and kitchen cabinets in a home in the 22400 block of East Wabash Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. on Jan. 19. A woman was cooking bacon, was distracted by a child and left the pan unattended, Clifford said.

Firefighters were called to a home in the 4200 block of North Harvard Road just before 8 p.m. on Jan. 13. A 15-foot by 15-foot shed was on fire. “I don’t believe anybody was home at the time of the fire,” Clifford said. “When crews arrived it was fully involved.”

The shed was being used as a dog house, but no dogs were in it at the time. The fire was likely started by a heat lamp left in the building to keep the dogs warm, Clifford said. Heat lamps are frequent fire-starting culprits, he said. “We see at least one of those a year.”

Perhaps the most unusual call came in on Jan. 14 from residents of an apartment in the 4100 block of North McDonald Road who had just had their carpets cleaned that day. “Whenever they walked through their living room area they were feeling a shocking sensation,” Clifford said. “The baseboard heater was shorted out and making the wet carpet energized.”

Firefighters shut down the heating system and the manager was notified of the problem, Clifford said.

The rest of the calls were fairly standard, including 167 emergency medical service calls. There were 13 vehicle accidents reported, with two people transported to the hospital due to their injuries. The week was rounded out by one call dealing with a small child locked inside a car.